For our entrepreneur interview, today, we’re featuring Gail, the founder of Raw Bites. I don’t remember where I saw Raw Bites, but I remember thinking that this was such a cool idea! This is a sample of a box that you can get from Raw Bites. So to tell you more about this amazing idea and brand, here is their story!
Raw bites was founded by Nathania Gail Go & Jane Heather Dee. Gail is not your average girl. An MBA graduate, she has eight years of marketing experience in consumer packaged goods, advertising, and retail in the food and beverage market. She loves peanut butter and toast with a side of jam or banana in the mornings. Her favorite snacks are savoury popcorn, especially White Cheddar and Chocnut. When not working, she goes for outdoor workouts, watches Korean shows or old chick flicks and loves to daydream.
Jane worked with various international start-ups until she finally decided to start her own. She’s a natural at all things technical, from building websites to managing e-commerce sites. Her favorite snack is granola with fresh fruit and yogurt, or a berry smoothie any time of the day. If she’s not busy on her laptop or setting up meetings, she loves to play with her dogs or prepare for her next trip.
Both Gail & Jane have been friends since their grade school years.
Ginger: What is your Startup/brand/business? What is it about? How long have you been in business?
Gail: Our business is called Raw Bites – it’s the first healthy snacks subscription box in the Philippines; think the newest superfoods, wholefood bars, nut butters, veggie and fruit chips, protein balls, raw chocolates, freeze dried fruits, super blends or gluten-free cereals. The business just launched its website last Feb 15th and had its first box shipment in April. Since then, it has shipped close to 1000 boxes to consumers and businesses.
Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?
Gail: Main target market are women ages 25-40 years old who reside in metro cities (metro manila, cebu, davao, and the like). Their buying motivation is to have a healthier diet and lifestyle and try new niche products that are not available from local players.
Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Gail: We really started with the idea of just bringing in healthy snacks into the Philippines since both of us have been exposed to these great-tasting healthy snacks while we were based abroad. But we didn’t want to be just a grocery store, we wanted to promote a more holistic lifestyle where we can promote good nutrition and healthy living.
We understand that being healthy here is quite a challenge especially if you’re stuck in an office job, let alone the traffic that you have to endure everyday. Although we do not promise any weight-loss or some form of healing by eating our snacks, we know that by substituting your regular junk-food chips for one of our bars, you’re on your way to a healthier and fitter you!
Our box doesn’t just include healthy snacks, we also partnered with like-minded brands to complement our products. These would be in the form of vouchers (i.e. trial passes to a fitness studio, discounts, etc)
Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?
Gail: Becoming an entrepreneur is exciting and scary at the same time. It is the letting go of a steady salary and pretty much starting from scratch. What we pay ourselves now is really nothing compared to how much we could earn if we kept our current jobs but we both knew that if we didn’t leave our previous jobs and did Raw Bites as a part-time, it wouldn’t be as successful as it could be. Luckily, we have our support group – family, partners, and each other to keep ourselves going.
Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?
Gail: In full honesty, doing business in the Philippines is very challenging – probably one of the toughest place to do a start-up. Where processes should only take days or maximum a week on other countries, it takes months here. However, we are both strong-willed so we find ways in which we can succeed. We always have contingency plans when things go as planned. We always remind ourselves that our attitude is how we differentiate ourselves from those who settle for what’s just the norm here.
Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when starting their own business?
Gail: Resilience, patience, and humility. Resilience to conquer challenges. Patience to fully dedicate themselves 24/7 without immediate results. Humility to learn from other and their own mistakes.
Ginger: Unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder
Gail: That first sale from a friend. That first sale from a stranger. That first month when we sold out. That first delivery. That first partnership. Too many unforgettable moments that we’ll always remember.
Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?
Gail: Do your business plan – from vision to financial projections to marketing plan even if you’re just doing it for yourself. A business plan forces you to assess possible scenarios and see the potential of a business idea. Don’t be afraid to share it to someone. Don’t be afraid to change it. Don’t be afraid to make iterations even if you’ve launched your business. Know what your strengths are and outsource where you’re weak at. Everyday is a learning process.
Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?
Gail: No. It takes a certain personality to be able to be a full-fledged entrepreneur.
Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?
Gail: Start with your own. Then approach friends and family – people you really trust. Make sure you keep the biggest share % so that when you need another round of fundraising, you don’t dilute yourself too much.
There are also other ways like crownsourcing, angel investment, VCs, etc. but know the pros & cons for such. Remember, the more external capital you receive, the less ownership you have of your business.
Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?
Gail: It really depends on your target market. We do a lot of digital marketing esp. since people can only subscribe online. We partner with like-minded brands. We activate in relevant events. We aim provide amazing customer service as we rely on repeat purchases.
Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?
Gail: Nothing too special – Shopify for our e-commerce site (although we had to customize it a lot, thanks to Jane), Adobe Creative Suite for all our graphics (thanks to Gail), FB and IG ads, Mailchimp for newsletter, and Quickbooks for accounting (on top of our real accountant).
Ginger: Other things that you want to mention which you think are important
Email us at email@example.com if you have any more questions… but please don’t ask us where we had our box made. We get that a lot.
Ginger: haha! Thank you so much for your time, Gail! 🙂 More power to your company!
Contact information about your business:
Website – rawbites.com.ph
Email address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile Number – +63 917 839 2268
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/rawbitesbox/
Twitter account – @rawbitesbox
Instagram account – @rawbitesbox
Pinterest, etc. – @rawbitesbox